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  2. Anonymous says...

    Both curvy and skinny/fit body types are beautiful (and natural).
    The problem with todays standards is that you should be both skinny AND have big breasts.. And that’s hard to achieve without liposuction and/or a boob job.

  3. jankantius says...

    I thought the photo shopped images were intended to show how advertizing has influenced our concept of feminine charm. I stumbled across these images after reading, “I’m Fat … So What?”.
    My wife is XX weighted. We hold hands and stop to kiss pretty much everywhere, and I am very proud of her. We met on the internet and she was very nervous about meeting me in person. I had suggested that we kiss immediately to get any awkwardness out of the way. That was 12 years ago and we have never stopped kissing.

  4. i like them better with the curves! I love this. after having a baby I have TONS of stretch-marks ALL OVER my stomach, and a little sag in the belly. :( I feel so gross, but my husband tells me I’m beautiful. :)

  5. I think these are wonderful works of art. I love the way they used to paint back in the day. Visit my blog to find out about creative techniques in art through videos and photos at http://aleksandraromashko.com
    thank you

  6. It is not so much the size and weight of the women being compared, as it is the photo shopped women are SMALLER–and take up less space in their area of the painting. It causes the proportion of the background vs the subject to be somewhat off balance…

  7. Mr. Troll says...

    obviously the new ones are much hotter

  8. Anonymous says...

    The originals look like women who’ve had babies, the photoshopped versions like barely post-adolescent girls. This makes me realize that the female body is no longer appreciated by popular culture in terms of fertility, childbearing. We’re all supposed to be little girls forever, just starting to come into our women’s bodies, not women whose bodies have actually been used for something reproductive. What happens to the second part of life? Do we wait for it forever and just don’t get it at all? Or when we get it, do we become no longer fit to be seen? It’s pretty unwholesome, I’d say. Other art celebrates the beauty of the young girl and her body (Degas’ ballerinas, for example), but this is the art of the mature woman, recognized for the beauty of her body. The originals are better, of course.

  9. Anonymous says...

    That is offensive!

  10. These are a fascinating commentary but i cant help of contemporary artist Orlan who uses her own body as a case study for these issues.

    xo em

  11. I know I shouldn’t say this but the photoshopped versions are much more pleasing to the eye. I know I will get some pretty bad feedback on this comment but the photoshopped versions look healthier and fitter to me which is nothing to be ashamed of. This is just my personal opinion.

    Maria xx

  12. My small breasts and wide hips are proof that I was born in the wrong time. Take me back to the days Venus was considered perfection.

  13. the originals are works of art just the way the are. I’m sure the artist would not have appreciated this.. nor would this beautiful woman. Love the originals

  14. Wow! A great way to demonstrate how messed up body image has become in our culture… I prefer the originals too! Unfortunately, I think it’s still hard to recognize curves as positive qualities when we look at our own bodies because of all the imagery we see that suggests otherwise.

  15. redfrizzz says...

    excellent project. Makes me appreciate the power and strength of hips and a delicious body, and the visual lack of those elements in a more slender body.

  16. redfrizzz says...

    excellent project. Makes me appreciate the power and strength of hips and a delicious body, and the visual lack of those elements in a more slender body.

  17. I am a slender woman. I stopped reading the comments above because they were very hurtful. No matter what your body type, women struggle with body image. I am trying to gain weight so that people will stop making rude comments to me about my size. When you make comments like “You’re so skinny, it makes me sick” all it really does is reveals your own insecurities and makes me feel insecure. Thanks ya’ll for making me feel bad for being just the way I was made.
    For the record, I DON’T CARE WHAT SIZE YOU ARE! What I care about is the smile on your face and the kind words that exit your mouth.

  18. Indiscutiblemente mejor las originales, donde va a parar.

  19. I much prefer the originals as well….


  20. Wow. Looking at these made me realize that the photoshopped versions all look pre-pubescent! What is our society thinking?!

  21. Sara-hare says...

    First off: woman in all shapes and sizes are beautiful. None are less womanly than the other.

    But: at the moment, thin is in. Do we ever see models that look like the originals? Ever? (Aside from the occasional “special” plus-size spread, which is honestly not helpful since it’s setting larger woman in a different frame… wouldn’t be seen as ok if there was a “special” spread of black models, when all the others were white… or Asian or Indian or anything, really.)

    The reason that’s a problem: when I hit my late twenties, I went from a thin figure to one that looks like the original paintings here. NOT because I got less healthy; I work out more and eat better than I did in my early twenties. But my body changed anyway; I got larger hips, breasts, and a little softness in the tummy. Because you never EVER see models that look like that in the media, I actually thought that I had ovarian cancer or something like that because I couldn’t stop being “bloated.” Because everyone has flat stomachs in the media, and mine wasn’t flat anymore… so clearly I must be sick somehow.

    I have a strong, muscled body under my curves (probably unlike the originals in the paintings), and I think it would be nice to see representations of that out in the media. Because size 12 should be considered just as beautiful as a size 2.

  22. Honestly I do prefer the originals! They are the only ones that show us real life, real bodies and real women! Back on those days life was tough so I really don’t get it at all!
    Have a nice day!!

  23. L. says...

    Yes, the size 0 trend did get taken way too far but whilst we sit here complaining about people taking thin to the extreme (which I agree is an issue) we seem to have forgotten that the majority of Americans are actually OVER weight which is also unhealthy, and unhealthy is never attractive.

    On a lighter note, i think both the originals and edits are beautiful, the edits don’t look underweight at all.

  24. The reason I find it is thought provoking is because to me it shows just how easy it is to Photoshop nowadays, and the fact that most images that we see in the media are not the ‘real deal’ – they are altered. I don’t care is someone is skinny, ‘plump’, curvy, or fat – but they (the media) should just show people like they are. The only thing Photoshop should be used for is pimples and lighting, not deforming shapes.

  25. I think this is awful. These body types shouldn’t be compared – there are women who look like the originals, and there are women who look like the photoshopped ones… and they are all “real” women. We should embrace all women and all healthy body types and not pit skinny and curvy women against one another.

  26. Ok, it’s not because i am curvey… (for fact i am size 10-12) But to me originals look better & sexier then thinned up versions. Honestly!

  27. Ok- I’m confused. She take the pictures and makes the woman LOOKS THINNER!!!!???? What the heck? Why on earth would anyone do this? Women today already have the pressure of being a stick figue. I am absolutely disappointed that you would showcase art that shows that our view of beauty is pencil-thin with big boobs.

    Also, how disrespectful to the original artists? I’m sure the italians don’t endorse this view of beauty at all.

  28. As an art student, this kind of project really makes me happy. I’ve been disgusted with the image of beauty that women have had to fulfill, and it shows in classical art, that curvy healthy bodies, are healthy bodies. (:

  29. H* says...

    love the originals!

  30. Anonymous says...

    Ridiculous, not fascinating.

  31. I think my comment above (second comment) was misconstrued to say that “real women” must by definition be curvy – I was merely saying that the images that we see in the media of women are rarely what women really look like (in the fact that almost all images in magazines are now photoshopped and create unrealistic expectations for girls and women of what we’re supposed to look like). I was merely commenting on the detriments of what Photoshop has done to our society.

  32. this is offending to the art world.

  33. Some of these comments make me sick.

    I’d like to say that I am thinner than the revision of these paintings. That’s the way I am. I can’t gain weight.

    Every comment on here is like a stab towards my body type. How are naturally thin girls supposed to feel pretty when everywhere you look online, our bodies are considered “ugly” and “unwomanly”?

  34. So interesting! “Beauty” definitely changes between generations and I guess even between years! Skinny jeans, for example–which make a woman’s proportions appear different than if she was wearing a pair of maybe bootcut jeans–would’ve been a joke if you’d worn them before our idea of what’s pretty or cool caught up to them. I also think it’s interesting that the artist kept the men the same in all the images. Does our idea of what makes a guy attractive stay more constant than it does for women?

  35. I think this is interesting in light of the photoshopping that is the current norm in popular media. We airbrush our celebrities to “perfection” but when this technology is applied to works of art we cry foul.

  36. I’m disappointed you would shed light on such a narrow-minded unhealthy project. How can this person all themselves an artist? It disturbs me.

  37. Here is what I think. The women on the original painting are no more ‘real’ than the photoshopped version.
    The original paintings are a reflection of how -mostly- male painters portrayed women and their surroundings at the time. They are unlikely to reflect what women really looked like at the time. Paintings were mostly commissioned just like today glossy and online magazines are also dependent on advertising.
    I wonder if the artist is trying to make a point, that it’s not about size but about the times and gender politics we live in. Thin, average build, skinny, curvy, above average, feminine, boyish, small, tall etc: no matter what, we are all women in the end. Loving ourselves may be more important than debating what the best size to be is.

  38. wow it really puts tings in perspective i prefer the orginal to the ‘todays standards’

  39. i think that is wrong!!
    it gives a wrong message… we are already under the pressure of having to be perfect, having perfect which means skinny bodies….
    don’t change the old paintings…

  40. the original because it feels more original:)

  41. Totally fascinating- they don’t look so feminine do they.

    If I saw a picture of a larger or smaller woman I would always say the smaller looked better- but this is perhaps where photography being new makes a difference- the camera favours less- I’ve often seen models who look wonderful in pictures who look unwell and even bizarre in real life.

    Lots of small people look great too but women should be proud of their difference- teeny tiny with no chest or gloriously Boticelli esque- both are beautiful if they are reasonably healthy to body and mind.

    No one ever worries about a man who is a little heavier set.

    In fact I went to University with a girl who was hospitalised for some months with an eating disorder and now feel very strongly about this. Her problem was being pear shaped- even when she was far beyond any kind of fatness- being fed on a drip and so on her hips were wider and fuller than the rest of her frame because she was built that way and it’s sad she felt that was wrong and made herself so very unwell because of it.

  42. I LOVE this! (especially because my body much more resembles the originals…)

  43. Jo says...

    I think this is terrible, what this artist is doing. What is the ‘norm’ is probably only a tiny percentage of women’s body types. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fat on the hips and butt and thighs… or tummy…

  44. Crazy! You would think because of our society and what we are exposed to in the media that the thinner versions would be more appealing, but they’re NOT! I absolutely prefer the originals.

    Thanks for sharing. So interesting.

  45. This definitely makes me feel better about myself. I see the old paintings and think, there’s a beautiful woman who probably enjoys life. The latter looks like someone who spends every moment obsessing about her looks. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

  46. I usually really enjoy your blog but this is totally off the mark. It’s not funny or cute it’s just another go at fitting women into some ridiculous ideal of beauty. Yawn.

  47. Concentrating on the Venus Project itself I find the originals much better because of the harmony and symmetry that balances the actual paintings.

  48. What struck me is how the slimmed-down subjects are out of proportion with their backgrounds — that’s what makes the paintings less beautiful IMO.

  49. What a wonderful idea. I prefer the originals. It reminds of me an old ‘The Nanny’ episode where Fran’s character sees that last painting and comments that right now she would be drinking slim fast and jogging.

  50. Gosh, what a cool project. Some of the comments are a little hurtful, though (toward both body types). I’m on the curvy side, and I can’t say that this project did anything positive for my self-confidence–the cultural “norm” is too embedded in my psyche, I guess. The “girlish” body looked like a few of my woman friends, and I hope this project doesn’t make them feel any better or worse about their bodies, either. I think it was meant to point to an issue, not say which body is better. So, I guess what I’m tryint to say is take it easy on each other, commenters.

  51. The originals make me feel okay with my body.. the modernized ones make me wonder if I need a boobjob. Ha!

  52. Anonymous says...

    This is so interesting. Real women are are not model thing – and shouldn’t be. It is not healthy!

  53. wow. very interesting … i found myself in the same situation @Alison Pearldiver. strange, no?

  54. Wow, I am very surprised my own reaction to these images. I imagined that I would overwhelmingly prefer the originals and not pay any mind to the re-creations -not because I don’t value what the artist is doing but because I want to celebrate the beauty of the natural woman. However for the majority of the images I found myself liking the enhanced versions of the women and most surpassingly feeling a couple of the images now felt provocative in a way that I never thought of the originals. Hmmm….Giordano has left me thinking more about my own ideals of beauty and why.

  55. Anonymous says...

    jen, erin, its not about putting down woman or are naturally thin. its that desperately trying to be thin is unhealthy, and unwomanly. also, adjusting photos of real women to make them thinner then there are is what the criticism is about. i find it hard to believe that a woman who is thin (as i am too) deals with as much criticism as a heavier woman today. this isn’t about hating thin woman, but don’t pretend that the media tells you you’re too naturally thin.

  56. this is really striking- our ideas about beauty have shifted so much. thanks for sharing!

  57. Anonymous says...

    This is so amazing. The re-touched pictures look emaciated. Our emphasis on thinness is absurd. Curvy, hippy, well-nourished looking women are beautiful. Thank-you for this post!

  58. The original painting is without a doubt the best

  59. I saw this a few days ago. It truly is an interesting commentary. It just goes to show there will always be beauty standards.

    And as a woman who has always been a bit on the curvy side… I don’t think it’s about “real women have curves” (Lord, I would trade for a boyish figure in a heartbeat) But that often we only see skinny (or the opposite side of the spectrum. Biggest Loser anyone?) portrayed in the media. So personally I always took a little solace in these paintings showing me that… Why yes, your figure is completely natural.

    And yes! I totally knew those Marilyn fun facts. She was truly tiny!

  60. back in the times these paintings were originally created, it was seen as undesirable to be thin because it meant you had to work hard, and that meant you didn’t have money.

    it was preferable to not be skinny and to have pale skin. why? it meant you were wealthy because you could stay indoors all day not working in the fields like a farmer (pale skin) and could afford to eat more food/didn’t have hard physical labor aka excersize (not skinny).

    the wealth is what’s attractive. back then wealth was pale and curvy, now wealth is tan and thin.

    i’m not just surmising this because it makes sense either, i went to school for art history and we would have long discussions about this. the classic perceptions of beauty were considerably different. i agree the originals look better, but the cultural context is completely different and that is often ignored when women discuss body size.

  61. This is amazing. What a brilliant and subtle way to show the distorted way we view the female body in this era.

  62. Irene says...

    Bigger looks better naked. I think sample size 0 requires less fabric so we are stuck with thin models for fashion. But Kate Upton is on the cover of sport illustrated and she is a bit more curvier than past SI models! Perhaps that signifies a refreshing change in tastes.

  63. How interesting! I didn’t know this artist before, so thank you for sharing!

  64. Susan says...

    People who do not understand why Anna did this: pls go & read why. She is not saying it’s better. Honestly, some of you need to get a clue.

  65. They seem to have shrunk everywhere except their boobs which have miraculous absorbed all bits erased from their bodies. How does that happen?!

  66. I saw this the other day and was surprised how much I preferred the originals since I love models like Freja Beha and other super slim models. The originals look sensual and the thin ones seemed out of place.

    I agree with a lot of the other commenters. I too get annoyed that people always say that curvy women are “real women” or “regular women.” I am slim and small-chested and I think I’m real.

    And in reaction to Krystel’s stat about models being 8% thinner during the 80s versus now, couldn’t that have more to do with the general population getting heavier, not models and our aesthetic necessarily getting thinner. People always love to say how Marilyn Monroe wore a size 16 as proof that our aesthetics become debased in liking thin women now. However, when they auctioned her things at Christie’s they couldn’t find mannequins small enough to fit her clothes. Size inflation. Let’s have a little context for stats folks.

  67. Lame. This just shows us what are media-infected minds do to us. I’m a healthy, active woman, who exercises every day and eats whole foods and my body just naturally stays in the shape of the originals. If I wanted to starve myself, which is not healthy, then I would look like the modern ones. I think it’s tragic that we assume a beautiful women should appear this way.

  68. I love this post! It’s very much like the post you made a few months ago about the photography remakes of memorable works of art! Thanks for posting such unique stuff!

  69. Anonymous says...

    Now if only she had used a hint of orange to “tan” their skin tones, lightened all of their hair and giving them bikini waxes.

  70. That’s such a travesty on this artworks. I am fond of the Bouguereau painting of the birth of Venus, and seeing it liposuctioned is depressing. Sadly, I am closest in body shape to the lipo’d version, but I much like the original.

  71. Allison says...

    No. Barf. Why oh why would we want to change these original, sensual beauties? Certainly, make a point all you’d like about beauty’s changing standards, but please don’t do it by showing me my thighs belong in a “before” photo.

  72. Allison says...

    I’m going to be honest and say my initial reaction was that I found the photoshopped images more attractive.

    I hate, and am disturbed, that that was my unedited thought. I’d always thought of myself as the kind of person who was very open to all body types. I myself am more full-figured, and as a queer woman, I’m more often attracted to fuller figure women.

    This leads me to believe that I’ve come to expect the two-dimensional representations of women to be svelte with bigger breasts. I guess I’d never realized how pervasive being inundated with such images day in, day out was.

    I’m glad I know now.

  73. The originals are much less attractive. The originals portray women who never exercise or at least they dont appear to be in good shape. The photoshopped ones look better. But thats just my opinion :)

  74. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the originals, or that they aren’t beautiful, but to be honest, like totally honest, I think the photoshop ones are prettier. Sorry. I’m a modern person I guess! I don’t think anyone should starve themselves, and I don’t think skinny = pretty or fat = pretty (I always tell my husband that I wish my size 14 ass could get some naked time because it looks better outside of my pants than in) but I think the proportions of the photoshopped ones are somehow more appealing to me. I don’t see it as a statement about her health necessarily because lots of people are just thin. And they are probably just pretty :) Just like my size 14 ass :)

  75. have you seen the terrific short documentary series, killing us softly about photoshop / women in advertisements, etc.? it’s well worth a watch and can be found on youtube!

  76. If anything, this “project” illustrated to me that BOTH body types are beautiful! I would have a hard time saying which of each of the two I thought looked better. Each picture depicts a beautiful, womanly body, just different versions of it!

  77. thanks for sharing! this is so interesting to look at!

  78. Oh, nvm! I see! Yea, I agree! We aren’t allowed to defend ourselves either because we’ll come off as jerks! If I went around saying “put down that cheeseburger” I’d be so uncool, but we have to take body criticism with a smile?

  79. This is interesting, but if anything it should draw attention to the fact that there have always been standards of beauty, and they have probably never described the majority of women.

    All of these women are white Europeans, and in the past it was considered more attractive to have more body fat because it was a sign of wealth and well-being.

    It’s important to remember that fat or thin, all women struggle with their body image and liking what they see in the mirror, and few of us are actually satisfied with the images in the media in terms of how they make us feel about ourselves. There’s always something.

  80. No, I didn’t take offense to YOUR comment, 8Track Honey! I wasn’t referring to yours at all. I am in complete agreement with your sentiments. :)

  81. Yes, Erin! I feel the same way. I’m very skinny but that’s The way my body is. I eat healthy and exercise, and I find it very offensive when people say real women have curves. Does that mean I’m less of a woman because I’m not curvy? No! Women come in all shapes and sizes !

  82. I have to agree with 8TrackHoney and Erin. While the originals are beautiful, the thinner versions are also very beautiful. I think all female body types are beautiful and examples of “real women”! It’s a shame that so many on the curvy side feel the need to express disgust and cattiness toward a thin frame, the same way so many on the thin side feel about curves/large women. Can’t we all just acknowledge that being confident in who you are is the way to be most beautiful??

  83. Erin did you read my entire comment? Why would you take offense?

    You aren’t built like a boy you’re built like a woman with a unique body shape.

  84. DeeDee says...

    I agree with Erin. I hate that we constantly say that one body type is desirable. It is girl on girl crime, y’all.

    Womanly doesn’t just mean curves. Sexy doesn’t just mean thin with big boobs. We are all of that.

    I have been quite large and a little too thin in my lifetime. I always looked womanly

  85. omg!The second one looks like vulgar…I do prefer the originals because i can see the purity…

  86. I agree 100%, 8Track Honey! I get the “eat a cheeseburger!” comments constantly. As if I somehow chose to have a certain body frame at birth. Not everyone who is thin actively chooses to be so or is anorexic. Sure, more women are built like Adele than like Kate Moss, but that doesn’t make either less of a woman. All women (and their bodies) are beautiful.

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. I’m*

    And for those statistics, you should consider that people have more body fat now than they did then.

  89. While I prefer the originals and understand the point the artist was making, I kind of take offense to a comment above that implies that only one of the figures is “womanly.” As someone who is naturally very skinny and built like an 11 year old boy at 25, I am no less “womanly” than someone who happens to have a different body type than me. All women are womanly. And not all “real women” have curves.

  90. Curvy women love posts like these,because its their chance to beat up on women who are thin. I am 5’8 and I weigh 140 lbs. Women love to put me,down about my figure “eat more”, “you can fit this my shape is too womanly for it.” I don’t understand why it has to be either or, why can’t women possess different types of beauty?

  91. Lauren C.T. says...

    I love this! Thank you for showing that curves are beautiful! I think the originals look so much better than the new ones.

  92. That’s really interesting. I can’t believe how noticeable the differences are!

  93. I’m confused as to why someone would even do this? I just don’t get it…

  94. DEFINITELY prefer the originals!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. Anonymous says...

    Yes, the originals just look real and relaxed. Thank you for posting this!

  97. What a really odd project!! The originals look so much better, I imagine the Italians are not impressed, they like their curvy women!!

  98. ooh they look too skinny. i like them how they were. they look a little starved.

  99. Fascinating! Makes me think of your post about how to talk to little girls. I hope my Baby Lulu grows up to love her body, no matter what shape it is (and believe me, at the rate she’s going, this girl is going to have some THIGHS!!)

  100. Seriously- the original versions make me feel so much better about my thighs. The fact that someone thought they were beautiful enough to paint makes me so happy.

  101. How interesting. It almost makes the models look quite hungry?

  102. The originals better portray what real women look like.

    Other interesting fact: back in the 1980s models were about 8% thinner than the average woman. Now, they are 26% thinner than the average woman.

  103. Yes, I much prefer the originals. <3